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Busch Gardens Williamsburg (BGW BGE) Discussion Thread

P. 466: Christmas Town starts on November 11th

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Us enthusiasts will say that Mach Tower isn't a worthwhile investment simply because of all the downtime. However, the park can't really decide whether it was a worthwhile advancement or not for a few more years. If they don't get enough riders on it to justify its cost in, say, five or six years, then we can say that building it was a bad idea.


Now, however, even with the downtime, it's too early to write off whether or not Mach Tower was a bad investment.

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Slight departure from the Mach Tower:


I will be visiting the park on a Sunday in early August, probs from like 2 'till close. Will the crowds be bad enough to make the fast pass worth it? How about the Verbolten option? We will probably end up shelling out for the basic one but unless it is going to be mobbed I don't see the reason to pay $10 more for Verbolten if the wait won't be too bad.


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I'm going to being Virginia beach for work training for the next couple of weeks and was planning on making a day trip to BGW on Saturday the 28th. What do you thing the lines would be like on a Saturday late in July? Any info is greatly appreciated

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I'm curious - how has the yellow train been affecting Verbolten's line speed? It was already moving very quickly with four (a full queue is only 40 minutes, which for the amount of people that line fits is nothing short of amazing), so I'm wondering if there's a noticeable difference with five? Seems like it would make a slight one, though nothing crazy.


Seriously can't wait for ERT on it at East Coast Bash, hopefully at night! I really love this ride for some reason. Well, a lot of reasons.

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^I was at the park for a few hours early this evening, but I didn't time the wait for Verbolten with five trains. It broke down long enough for me to grab a pretzel dog and a beer (about 15 minutes). Mach Tower was down again, and Alpengeist was out of action, as well, with a train stuck on the lifthill.

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^I think you'll be fine. I kid Verbolten, but it seems more dependable now that it was in June.


Oh my geez, I tried my first pretzel dog at Disneyland last month and it will now be a must-do at "destination" parks. Heavenly.


They sell them in the pretzel bakery next to Mach Tower (across from Verbolten).

Edited by cfc
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BGW and Water Country USA are running some new promotions for the second half of summer.



Williamsburg, Va. (July 23, 2012)—Busch Gardens and Water Country USA announced two offers today featuring even more ways for Virginia residents to save while visiting the Williamsburg theme parks.


For a limited time, Busch Gardens is offering an online only $50 twilight ticket, a complimentary dinner entrée and a non-alcoholic beverage good after 3 p.m. through Sept. 3. It is the perfect opportunity to visit Busch Gardens during the evening to enjoy cooler temperatures and experience the park’s summer celebration event, IllumiNights, a nightly extravaganza featuring live performances, music and special effects that culminates in a park-wide firework spectacular [illumiNights closes for the season Aug. 19]. Park guests also can brave the Black Forest aboard Verbolten, the park’s new multi-launch roller coaster.


“The twilight offer is a great way to visit Busch Gardens when the temperatures are cooler and the lines are shorter,” said Dan Dipiazzo, vice president of marketing for Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. “Guests can enjoy all the park has to offer, plus a delicious dinner at one of our signature restaurants, and get it all for the lowest price of the season.”


Virginia residents can cool off and save $20 on a single-day ticket to Water Country USA. The mid-Atlantic’s largest water park features resort-style amenities, up-close animal encounters and more than 30 state-of-the-art water attractions including Vanish Point, where riders choose between two wicked-wet ways to drop out of sight.


“We’re fortunate to have one of the top 20 water parks in the world right here in Virginia,” Dipiazzo said. “We want to give all of our neighbors the chance to experience it during these hot summer days at a great savings.”


Consumers wanting to purchase the Busch Gardens’ twilight ticket and entrée, or the Water Country USA summer savings offer must visit buschgardens.com/va or watercountryusa.com.

Edited by cfc
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  • 3 weeks later...

BGW's Wolf Pups Media Day


Wolf Valley at Busch Gardens Williamsburg has three new pack mates this year—pups from Colorado and Idaho named Boise, Beo, and Kaya. The park gave the media an up-close look at their new additions, providing access to the two of the pups, Beo and Kaya, in their Wolf Valley habitat on Friday, August 10, 2012.


This is the first time the park has let someone other than trainers walk around in Wolf Valley, and it was a very enjoyable experience getting close to the pups as they played and circled around us. “Wolves are an incredible animal,” said Jay Tacey, the park’s manager of zoological operations. “But they are also one of the most misunderstood.” For example, despite the wolf’s reputation in fairy tales and folklore as a sinister, vicious predator that threatens young children, there is no known instance of a wild wolf killing a human being.


Wolves were also found to be a "keystone species" when they were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Many species of plants, which had been long absent, started flourishing when the wolves returned. Why? Because the wolves kept other animals (their prey) on the move, rather than allowing them to overgraze areas of the park.


Beo and Kaya are, indeed, very inquisitive, friendly pups who seem to enjoy the company of humans. They came to the park from an animal-care facility in Colorado, and according to their trainers, were very happy to meet new people when they were adopted by Busch Gardens. This is notable, as wolves tend to develop a fear of humans when they reach 10 to 14 days of age, according to Jay Tacey.


Boise wasn’t with his new pack mates today, but his story is a bit different from theirs. Boise is a rescue animal who was found, in poor health, wandering down a road in Ketchum, Idaho. Some passersby, thinking he was someone’s dog, took him to a local vet. The average lifespan of a wolf in the wild is about four years.


Boise is comfortable among his pack mates, but still a little skittish around people. He’ll eventually join the others in Wolf Valley, once he becomes more acclimated. Wolves are a social animal and tend to be more successful in groups.


My thanks to BGW for this close-up look at their newest residents.


Kevin Crosset, the park's head of public relations, welcomes the group to the wolf pups' very own media day.


Hmm . . . Unless I miss my guess, we will encounter wolves somewhere in this vicinity.


Jay Tacey told the group a bit about the wolves and the park's animal exhibits. They were "elated" that the three pups got along so well when they first met-as though they'd always been members of the same pack.


"OK, here are your wolf pups. Now I gotta take some baby elephant with big ears to the circus."


Noted. SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment has "one of the largest animal collections in the world." It's been interesting watching BGW expand their animal exhibits over the years.


This way to Wolf Valley.


Megan Golsson, a trainer in charge of Wolf Valley, took the group in to meet Beo and Kaya.


But first she had to get two bags of treats (aka, "postive reinforcement"). All the SeaWorld parks use positive-reinforcement techniques when training their animals.


Say hello to Beo and Kaya.


Animal care specialist Kendell Thomas with Mia, a German shorthaired pointer who acts a a "mother" to the pups. Wolf pups tend to exhibit "alpha" behavior, so a domestic dog is used to make sure they learn proper "submissive" behaviors, which will make it easier for the rest of BGW's pack to accept them.


"Your destiny is to be the wicked ruler of a corrupt kingdom . . ." Oops! That's DarKastle, not Wolf Valley.


Sniffing up anything interesting, guys?


"Am I not adorable? You must admit it is true."


"Holding still is one of the hardest things you can ask a wolf to do," said Megan.


"May I have some more 'positive reinforcement,' please?"


"Best take this pic now, folks. It's tough for us to stand still!"


From the wolf's point of view--humans are so entertaining.


The wolf stalks its "prey."




Here's your last chance to touch a wolf.


"Goodbye, folks! Thanks for all the positive reinforcement!"


And my thanks, again, to Busch Gardens for this chance to meet their new wolves.


And in case you're curious, this is Boise. Thanks for reading.

Edited by cfc
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Awesome report Chuck. I was looking forward to seeing these little guys since I heard the announcement about their arrival. They are truly amazing animals and quite cute. I know I won't be able to get up there to see them as pups, but I look forward to seeing them the next time I visit.

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ladies and gentlemen i have amazing news. ive talked to larry giles and some members of the creative design team. as i was part of a group of designers that helped design alot of what u see in the black forest . and they said for howl-o-scream they plan on incorporating a FOURTH show inside the black forest event building. he denied alotta questions i have asked him and said that he wants me to work on some of the new effects . but what he did say that stood out was fog, headlights. new scenery and special effects such as wind to give the effect of swaying trees. but the main thing he said was that she show would happen annually not periodically like the other three. tomorrow i will go talk to the president to confirm this but then again this did come out larrys mouth. i was soo excited to hear this that i wanted to share with tpr.

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Looks like the full Howl-O-Scream site is live. Not much new from last year. Though, rumor is there are still a few new things that will be announced closer to the event.


Haunted Houses


13: Your Number's Up - Ireland

For 13 long years, the dark tower was locked away from the world—existing only in the nightmares of those who had dared to experience Howl-O-Scream’s first and most terrifying maze. But now the seal has been broken. The tower is open once more and on the 13th floor, your darkest phobias and fears lurk in the shadows. Are you brave enough to face them or is your number up?


Catacombs - France

Through a ruined cemetery filled with statues lies a tunnel that leads to an underground city. Its history is more terrifying than that of France’s worst revolutions. Deep within these tunnels lie mile after mile of bones—the final resting place for those who are buried here. But all is not as quiet as it appears. As guests venture forth into the dank, dripping corridors of rat infested remains, the voices of the dead begin to speak, and some have taken shape.


Fear Fair - Festa

On the dark outskirts of the Fair Grounds near Festa Italia, a traveling carnival is waiting under a stained and tattered big top. Lift the flaps of the tent and discover the macabre—a fantastic collection of freaks, psychotic clowns and other insane oddities that defy human explanation. Will your sides split with laughter? Or will you turn around and run for your life? Either way, you’ll quickly understand why this evil carnival is doomed to wander the Italian countryside … never stopping in the same village twice.


Bitten - Germany

Suspicion, darkness and mind-numbing fear surround the “Bitten” house which is set in Eastern Europe in the late 1800s. Full of legends and lore of vampires and the undead that preyed on the innocent, this manor sits by the road upon which all travelers must pass but few return.


Dead Line - Italy

Deep underground, construction of the newest line of the Pompeii Metro was moving smoothly until an ancient pipe was accidentally struck. At first, it seemed like steam. Then the mist became thicker, more sinister. Now the strange gas is leaking quickly, and everyone trapped inside is infected. The difficult decision was made to cut off all communication to the outside world. The Dead Line is off the grid.





Dig it Up - Italy

Relics long forgotten and buried in the vaults of the Muse di San Marco have recently been dug up, dusted off and brought to life through song. Cavemen, Egyptians, Romans, and even an alien encounter make their musical debut in this eclectic energy packed anything goes at Halloween show.


Fiends - Ireland

The wacky doctor and his manic nurses are creating the ultimate Fiend, and there’s not a bad seat in the lab. The voltage is high, and so is the fun as they sing, dance, and bring you along on the operation of a lifetime.



Scare Zones


Roaming Hordes

Under the cloak of night, Busch Gardens’ pathways are taken over by roaming minions from your deepest fears. No place is safe in the darkness of the gardens. You have been warned.

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